Season 3 Episode 4 of the Chasing MacNaughton Podcast from Tech Hockey Guide; “906-482-3700.” This week Tim Braun, Dustin Lindstrom, and Rob Gilreath were joined by the former Sports Information Director for Michigan Tech, Dave Fischer. We got to spend some time telling stories about Dave’s 17 years at Michigan Tech and what he’s doing now with USA Hockey, Dustin continued is Fantasy College Hockey Contest, and we shared out thoughts on MTU’s dominant performance in Madison. For the second week in a row, Matt was unable to attend and our guest got to pick on Matt’s behalf.

Dave Fischer’s Reputation and Role at USA Hockey

The guys started out by bringing up Dave Fischer’s reputation for having unique factoids on his line charts. He was asked if any stuck out in his mind today. Dave said that this was a very good question. He brought up that he had to give credit to Nate Ewell, who is currently with the Vegas Golden Knights, because Dave learned a lot from Nate when he got started. Dave said the one factoid that stood out in his mind was that former Tech Goaltender, Luciano Caravaggio, had 13 syllables in his name, which led the NCAA. Dave said that the factoids were supposed to be fun since sports were supposed to be fun. He had a nickname for the former coach, Herb Boxer, which was Boxer Shorts. Dave mentioned that having fun was a huge part of his role then and still is now in his position at USA Hockey.

Dave explained his position at USA Hockey. He began by saying that his job depends on the day. He gave some background on the organization by telling the guys USA Hockey is a youth hockey organization that provides the infrastructure for youth hockey across the nation. He reminisced about how in his early years in Bettendorf, Iowa, there was no hockey. He explained that USA hockey has brought youth hockey to all 50 states now. Dave mentioned that the late Tech coach, John MacInnes, was one of the pivotal people that helped foster the growth of not only college hockey, but hockey in general. Dave is thankful that his job leading communications at USA Hockey has given him the opportunity to be one of the people that gets to help growth the sport of hockey. The guys joked that promoting hockey is the dream role for many people.

Hockey History at Tech

The guys discussed the rich history of hockey that is rooted in Copper Country. Rob reminisced about how he remembers hearing Dave’s voice as a child around the rink or on the radio. He was appreciative of how much Dave was involved in the history of hockey at Tech and that he was able to share more. Dave recalled that people across the world used to call WMPL radio to get the scores, the WMPL College hockey scores, and more. The guys recalled a time when they met a former coach of Tech at a hotel during the Frozen Four. They mentioned that there is so much history of hockey in the UP that things like this can happen.

Dave and the guys discussed the successes and failures of the Tech Hockey program. They mentioned that Tech used to help build up other programs but is now being surpassed by other programs. Tech now must worry more about their own program or else they might be left behind. Tech is now more involved with helping grow and evolve the hockey program. There is a lot to be proud about in the past, present, and future of the hockey program. Dave looks forward to being a part of it even from Colorado Springs.

Playing Wisconsin

Dave and the guys discussed the Copper Country Anthem. Dave recounted that the coaching staff used to link arms between periods and join the crowd during the Copper Country Anthem. They let Dave know that the Anthem still goes strong in games today. They also mentioned that Mitch’s Misfits tries to keep the Anthem alive at away games. There was a small group in attendance at the Wisconsin game this past weekend. Dave told the story about when he first started at Tech working as the Sports Information Director. The head coach of Wisconsin, Jeff Sauer, introduced himself and welcomed Dave to the WCHA. Dave thought it was a good start of the season to sweep the Badgers. Both games ended with five Husky goals while the Badgers scored two and one goals respectively.

Next Weekend’s Games

Friday night, the Huskies take on Notre Dame. On Saturday, the Huskies play the USNTDP U-18 team (US National Team Development Program Under 18). The USNTDP U-18 team started out great beating MSU and Notre Dame. They play Northern Friday and Tech on Saturday. This exhibition game should be a good showing for these young players.

Dave Ellis wanted to know if Dave still worked the Frozen Four including being the Emcee for the press conferences if he left college hockey all those years ago. Dave answered that it still fits in his realm of hockey. Dave was asked if he would be part of the key staff that returned every year; he has been doing it since.

Dave’s Stories

Dave told some stories about Bob Olsen. He said that Bob was selfless and always out for others. Bob was one of the best people he knew. One of his first trips to Wisconsin, Dave drove with Bob, and he even knew the parking lot attendant. Dave remembered when the Huskies Airship first came out. Dave tricked Bob and told him that he had to ride inside the airship. Dave talked very highly of his colleagues from WMPL radio.

Dave’s take on Social Media

The patron question was “how has social media changed your job both for the good and bad?” Dave said the instantaneous information has been a great tool and has created more jobs in communication. There is good in being able to share things readily. Dave said that in the PR and communications field, lots of things can create angst; anyone can say anything. Dave does not think that it is good for society overall and some of the cast agreed. Dave shared some philosophies surrounding social media.

Fantasy Challenge

With Matt’s absence, Dave had to make the choice between two players. Tim is currently leading the challenge with 13 points followed not so closely by Rob with six. The Ghost is in third place with five points. The theme for this week is goalies. The name Connor Murphy got the guys off topic. Dave brought up the famous comeback from 6-3 against Northern on 10/18/2003. Dave has the audio of the game, which is available on Patreon at the white level or above. The Shirtless Guy became a reality during this game and is the foundational moment for Mitch’s Misfits, Tech Hockey Guide and the Chasing MacNaughton Podcast.

Final Questions for Dave

What would it take to get Tim into the Michigan Tech Sports Hall of Fame as a fan? They thought that Dave would know best since he is a Hall of Famer, but Dave did not know the process. Dave suggested that someone should nominate Tim. Dave then asked a trivia question for the guys: which CCHA team has won the MacNaughton Cup? Tim guessed Bowling Green correctly, who has won twice.

Weekend Recap

After Dave left, the discussion started off recapping the Tech sweep of the Wisconsin Badgers. The highlights showed a dominant performance by Tech. The only negative from the weekend is the face-offs, which needed improvement. They were disappointed to lose the shutout on Saturday. The Tech hockey team was very dominant in play where a single player was able to control the puck deep in the Badgers zone against four players. These games make the guys very excited for the rest of the season. Dustin thought the depth of scoring was very good. The four lines were overmatching their counterparts for most of the game. He thought this was good foreshadowing for great things the rest of the season. The guys thought that some of the weaker players from last year have already met their previous season totals. They thought this was a very good sign for the rest of the season.

The stat comparison in the games was discussed at length. Tech needed improvement in face-off wins. On Friday Tech was -16 and -6 on Saturday . The team managed to go 50% on powerplay goals and 100% on the penalty kill. The zone entry was impressive; there was more carries into the zone rather than dump and chase. The second period stats showed Tech at 6 goals to 1, which was a vast improvement from the previous year.

Big News and Joe-isms

Michigan Tech entered the USCHO Poll at 16th. Wisconsin was 13 but fell out because of the sweep by Tech. Minnesota State is sitting comfortably at number 1. Bemidji State fell to 20, but remains in. Tech is facing the number 17, Notre Dame on Friday in a one game series.

After the big news, the guys talked about who travelled over the weekend. There was some speculation about why some people didn’t go, but they could not say for certain. Some of the favorite Joe-isms was that some people make pianos, but some people play them. They knew what Joe was trying to say without ever getting there. This week, Dirk was talking about how Mitch’s Misfits travel so well. Joe interjected that he thought everyone was kind of a misfit. This was particularly ironic due to the discussion surrounding the original name of the group. Rob liked the “trying to tread” quick stand.

Cut for Time

This week’s cut content for patrons is approximately 29 minutes long. Dave discussed how the winner of the league automatically made it to the NCAA tournament. The group discussed how cool escalators are. The guys discussed the 2007 Frozen Four and the 2006 WCHA Playoffs, how Pepsi Jazz was given away as a promotion and what complimented it (nothing).

They talked about the experiences of when they were Tech apparel and get recognized as Tech fans, but also when they get confused as not-Tech fans.

The largest segment was the fun experiences that the guys had going to away games. They reminisced about all the absurdities that happened while out with the players from different teams.

The guys talked about all the positives of Mitch’s Misfits. The comradery of members, old and new, makes traveling easier. The feeling in arenas with the crowd doing chants makes the atmosphere so fun for Tech fans.

Learn More

For additional information and more episode liner notes, check out our episode overview on Tech Hockey Guide. To make sure we can afford all our fancy equipment we purchased for the podcast and the THG website in general, please check out our patreon page and consider joining. Patrons at our Black Level or above receive an authentic MTU jersey patch and access to extra podcast content including extended versions of our other episodes. This week’s extended version is about 115 minutes.

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Tim is a 2004 graduate of Michigan Tech. He is a co-founder of both Mitch’s Misfits and Tech Hockey Guide. With recent additions to the staff, Tim is again able to focus on his passion, recruiting. He currently works as an environmental engineer and resides in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Area.